4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (recommended: Callebaut)
1/2 cup boiling water
6 eggs, separated
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups superfine sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups rice flour (recommended: Bob's Red Mill)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups Chocolate-Cardamom Ganache, recipe follows
Chocolate Buttercream, recipe follows
Dark cocoa powder, for dusting (recommended: Callebaut Extra Brut)
Spun Sugar Bird's Nests, recipe follows
Jewel-Encrusted Bird's Eggs, recipe follows
1 teaspoon cardamom pods, crushed
1 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate (recommended: Callebaut)
1 cup heavy cream
3 cups (6 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled to lukewarm
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup corn syrup
1 pound white chocolate molding chocolate
Assorted vegetable-dyed crystal sugars
To melt chocolate, place in a double boiler over simmering water on low heat for 5 to 10 minutes. Stir occasionally until completely smooth and no pieces of chocolate remain. Remove from the heat and let cool 5 to 10 minutes.
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